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2011 Volkswagen Jetta

Overview
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2011 Volkswagen Jetta Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.6

In many respects, the all-new 2011 Volkswagen Jetta is a lesser car than its predecessor. The standard engine is far less powerful, the rear suspension is less sophisticated and the interior is no longer over-the-top refined. But it is roomier and more affordable, and that's just what Volkswagen thinks America wants. Yes, some of the Jetta's more discriminating devotees will be disappointed, but the new model will attract far more buyers than it loses. And even with the cost-cutting, the Jetta is still fun to drive and still has one of the category's finest interiors. Last three words: Outsider moving in.

You'll Like This Car If...

Interior quality, driving dynamics and individuality are still Jetta strong suits. Now that prices are down and roominess is up, Volkswagen's perennial best-seller can even appeal to your practical side.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta's 115-horsepower base engine is the weakest in the category, and the lower prices still don't qualify the Jetta as a value leader (but its historically strong resale values don't hurt). Tech-savvy buyers wouldn't be wrong to expect more from the Jetta.

What's New for 2011

The 2011 VW Jetta is an all-new car with an all-new look, but the key changes can be summed up in two words: bigger and cheaper.

Driving the Jetta

Driving Impressions Not everyone who buys a Jetta does so for things like steering feedback and roadholding ability, but European driving feel – for less than $20,000 – has been one of...

the Jetta's greatest strengths for decades. Thankfully, given the simplified suspension and added length, it still is. The familiar 2.5-liter engine is punchy if short-winded, and the five-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions are just fine. Highway ride is firm within reason, and highway noise is on the quieter side of the category spectrum. We're eager to drive a Jetta with the smaller, 115-horsepower engine and smaller wheels - not because we think we'll love it, but to find out just how severe the penalty is.

Diesel Power
We haven't yet driven the 2011 Jetta TDI, but we're such big fans of Volkswagen's popular diesel engine that it's already one of our favorite Jetta features.

Cargo Room
The Jetta's newfound rear-seat roominess is welcome and useful, but the deep, massive trunk is a sight to behold.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta Details
Interior

The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta interior in a nutshell: more room, cheaper materials. Rear legroom, which was tight in the outgoing model, is up 2.7 inches and now best-in-class. But in areas where you'd find premium-like, soft-touch materials in the outgoing Jetta, the sixth-generation model features hard plastic. Moving up the trim ladder does buy a little more flair, and it's still among the nicest interiors in the class, but we wouldn't call it a $30,000 interior like we did the last Jetta's (and the current Golf's). The Jetta's huge trunk is also worth noting, as is the unremarkable sound system. Volkswagen's decision to put the USB port in the glove compartment could madden some whose phone and portable music player are one and the same.

Exterior
2011 Volkswagen Jetta photo

The biggest Jetta ever measures about three inches longer than its predecessor. Some were hoping for more expressive sheetmetal, but we think it's a tasteful design that will stand the test of time. Exterior differentiators throughout the lineup range from small, 15-inch covered steel wheels on the base-model Jetta S, to mirror-integrated turn signals, front fog lamps, chrome accents and 17-inch alloy wheels on the Jetta GLS.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta S starts under $17,000, but with a weaker engine than its competitors and a pedestrian list of standard equipment. Highlights include air conditioning, power locks/windows/mirrors (with one-click up/down on all four windows) and a four-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system with auxiliary audio input. A full complement of standard safety features includes electronic stability control and six airbags.

Optional Equipment

A loaded 2011 Volkswagen Jetta GLS features a 2.5-liter 170-horsepower engine, six-speed automatic transmission, leatherette seats, USB audio input, Bluetooth phone connectivity, cruise control, heated seats, touchscreen navigation/audio with six speakers and SD memory card slot, Sirius satellite radio, moonroof, rear disc brakes, and keyless entry and start. The SEL trim also offers a Sport package with a lowered sport suspension, sport-bolstered seats, aluminum pedals and unique door sills.

Under the Hood

The 2011 VW Jetta powertrain lineup will quickly grow to include four engines and four transmissions. The bread-and-butter combo is the 170-horsepower five-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The sport-tuned Jetta GLI will match Volkswagen's renowned 2.0-liter turbo engine with its quick-shifting and efficient six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (or a six-speed manual). The Jetta TDI will offer the same transmissions as the GLI, but mated to VW's also-celebrated turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine. At the other end of the spectrum, the base model 2011 Volkswagen Jetta S will be saddled with a 2.0-liter, 115-horsepower four-cylinder engine that, when matched to the auto transmission, has to strain for 11 seconds before pulling the car to 60 mph. A couple years down the road, we'll get a hybrid Jetta.

2.0-liter four-cylinder
115 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
125 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/34 (manual), 23/32 (auto)

2.5-liter five-cylinder
170 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
177 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/33 (manual), 24/31 (auto)

2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (GLI only)
200 horsepower @ 5100-6000 rpm
207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1700-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: TBD

2.0-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder
140 horsepower @ 4000 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1750-2500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/42 (manual), 30/42 (auto)

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2011 Volkswagen Jetta Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 244 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

60 Highway / 40 City | Quiet Ride | My best car

By on Monday, November 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "60 Highway / 40 City | Quiet Ride | Value"

Cons: "Traction control cannot be deactivated."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"2011 Jetta TDI Sedan w/ Convenience Package, Manual I have traded and driven 9 vehicles ranging from 2009 to 2011 models. This one i have had for the longest at...20 months and 20,000 miles. While the reviews say that the 2011 Jetta is of a lesser build quality, my Jetta is the most quiet ride i've ever been in. I enjoy the simple, yet pretty dash, the quiet ride, and the crazy good mileage. My model in a 2015 year has an MSRP of about 26,000, so maybe 24,000 after discounts. I have yet to find a better value for the money, especially for a new car price. Handles way better and is much more quiet than say.. a 2012ish model Honda Accord EX at about 27-29k new."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Audi A4 performance for VW Price Tag

By on Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Sporty yet practical, premium feel for less $$"

Cons: "Missing a few top notch refinements and features"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I recently traded my high performance Volvo S60R for a 2013 VW GLI. I was hesitant because I had become spoiled by the Volvo's amazing power, luxury options and overall attention to clean design detail. I spent countless hours doing research and decided to test drive a few cars, the 2013 GLI being one of them. I was immediately impressed with the sporty feel of the GLI, the handling and tight road feel were right up my alley, and finding a manual transmission excited me as well. The small details like the red stitching, ergonomically friendly layout of instruments (typical VW) and overall "feel" of the car convinced me to make the purchase. I was surprised by the rear legroom in this car, it is HUGE compared to other cars I looked at. It has more room than the Mercedes E class! I LOVE this car and it is a JOY to drive every day. The only slight drawbacks are: * Small Navigation screen (that said, the "heads up" display in the center panel keeps your eyes forward) * Driver seat adjustments-- lacking lumbar support and the ability to raise or lower the FRONT of the seat itself, I tend to prefer the back of the seat low but the front raised for a more supportive feeling * Rain sensing wipers: I loved this feature on my 6 year older Volvo-- spoiled I know, but I suppose I will get used to it * Multi-disc changer: again, spoiled by the Volvo I suppose Overall, I'd buy this car again in a heartbeat. It is just the right mix of practical and sporty for me."

8 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Not worth the price

By on Friday, November 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage"

Cons: "Uncomfortable, hard to see, bad design, cheap."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I purchased this car less than six months ago and I actually hate it! I have attempted to get another car and was told this car was worth almost $10,000.00 less than I paid for it. I did my research and I got a good deal based on the KBB ratings. I am livid with VW. This car is so uncomfortable to drive, it jerks when acceleration is needed quickly, like oncoming traffic. The NAV system is hard to use and clunky, sound system is only fair and the sun roof is built in such a way that the sun shines directly into your eyes when its open. The seats are hard, hard to adjust and cheap material. Visibility is poor as it sits so low to the ground. Also, the diesel engine hates the cold and creaks and squeeks all the time. The only redeeming quality of this car is the gas mileage, which is very good."

10 people out of 21 found this review helpful

In love with my Jetta

By on Friday, November 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "interior, quickness, price, sleekness, hands-free"

Cons: "sound system needs upgrading"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I previously owned Honda's and Dodge's, this is my first VW. I must say I am very impressed with the Turbo engine, and the Connectivity features. This car is much more than I expected! My ONLY complaint would be that it doesnt have the smooth ride like my Dodge, but it is smoother than my Honda Civic. Between the gas mileage, the roomy interior, the clean sleek dash, the quickness of the engine, and the heated extremely comfortable seats, this is my all tie favorite car! Well worth the $$, and will probably buy another VW in the future!!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love It :) This car is my Baby

By on Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Drive, Quiet, amazing Handling, Price"

Cons: "Leatherette is Required on an SE"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Her Name is Lucy :)

"I purchased this vehicle under Volkswagens First time buyer program at the age of 18. I Absolutely love this car. I highly recommend going with the SE over the S model and there are a few reasons to that. The SE comes with Leatherette seats (which I am not a fan of, but it helps resale value) as well as a higher stereo system, and cruise control! I priced out an S with cruise control (approx. $800 extra) an that was set me to get the SE based on price. Why not get more, for a little more right? Overall I have driven this car to South Dakota, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. So with that said she has seen all types of terrain. This car is a front wheel drive, but has no problem in the snow and rain or even in the mountains. Which was a major concern when I purchased the vehicle. As of right now, I don't know that I will ever drive another car that is not a Volkswagen. They really know how to make a car. The ride is impeccable. The road noise is non existent. The motor is so quiet sometimes I don't even know if my car is running."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Her Name is Lucy :)

vinyl seats cheap looking

By on Saturday, November 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,800

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "expected more quality for the price of this car"

Cons: "cheap vinyl seats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"small things continue to need fixing, not as depending as toyotas I had for many years. Next car will be toyota again, not VW. Disappointed in quality."

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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